Overview

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Michiel van Mierevelt (Delft 1567-1641)
Property of a lady of title (Lot 31)
Michiel van Mierevelt (Delft 1567-1641)

Portrait of Bernard of Saxe-Weimar (1604-1639), half-length, in armour, with a lace collar and an embroidered sash

Details
Michiel van Mierevelt (Delft 1567-1641)
Portrait of Bernard of Saxe-Weimar (1604-1639), half-length, in armour, with a lace collar and an embroidered sash
signed, inscribed and dated 'A.o D(?) 1630 / M. Mierevelt.' (centre left)
oil on panel
27 x 22 7/8 in. (68.5 x 58 cm.)
with the Coombe Abbey inventory number '309' (on the reverse of the frame)
sold together with a copy of the Sotheby's catalogue of the Countess of Craven sale in 1968
Provenance
Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia (1596-1662), from whom passed either by direct gift or by eventual bequest to her son, Prince Rupert of the Rhine to William, 1st Baron and Earl of Craven (1608-1697) and by descent to Cornelia, Countess of Craven;
her sale (+), Sotheby's, London, 27 November 1968, lot 95, as Michiel van Miereveld.
Literature
Coombe Abbey catalogue, 1866, no. 309.

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Lot Essay

The twelfth son of Johann II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar (1570-1605) and his wife Dorothea Marie of Anhalt (1574-1617), Bernard of Saxe-Weimar studied at the University of Jena in his youth before joining the court of the Elector of Saxony, John George I. Upon the outbreak of the Thirty Years War in 1618, he enlisted to fight against the Habsburg forces and proceeded to fight in numerous battles, serving with German, Danish and Swedish forces. As a commander in the Swedish army, Bernard led a successful campaign to re-invade Bavaria in 1633 and was rewarded with the former Bishoprics of Würzburg and Bamberg and the title of Duke of Franconia. He later entered the service of the French army as well as acting as general-in-chief of the forces of the Heilbronn League of Protestant princes. In 1638, Saxe-Weimar embarked on his most successful campaigns at Rheinfelden, Wittenweiher, and Thann, capturing the cities of Rheinfelden, Freiburg, and Breisach. He died, apparently of a fever which had spread through his camp, in 1639.

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